Hamlet Characters

Claudius Old Hamlet’s brother, uncle to Hamlet, and the present King of Denmark. He murdered Old Hamlet out of love or lust for Gertrude and the crown. The play’s antagonist.
Hamlet The protagonist,The Prince of Denmark, who studied at the University of Wittenberg, has been often indecisive and hesitant, but at other times prone to rash and impulsive acts.
Polonius The Lord Chamberlain of Claudius’s court, a pompous, conniving old man. Is the father of Laertes and Ophelia.
Horatio friend of Hamlet’s, a fellow student at Wittenberg University. Hamlet’s close friend, who studied with the prince at the university in Wittenberg. Is loyal and helpful to Hamlet throughout the play. After Hamlet’s death, remains alive to tell Hamlet’s story.
Laertes Polonius’s son, who prefers life in Paris to Elsinore. Spends much of the play in France. Passionate and quick to action, Laertes is clearly a foil for the reflective Hamlet.
Voltemand courtier at Claudius’s court.
Cornelius courtier at Claudius’s court.
Rosencrantz Is a childhood friend of Hamlet’s, inseparable from Guildenstern. summoned by Claudius and Gertrude to discover the cause of Hamlet’s strange behavior.
Osric Is a young courtier in Claudius’s court. Summons Hamlet to his duel with Laertes.
Marcellus Is a guard at Elsinore, Barnardo’s companion on the midnight round. first sees the ghost walking. Is present when Hamlet first encounters the ghost.
Bernardo Is a guard at Elsinore, charged with the midnight round. Who first sees the ghost walking
Francisco is a guard at Elsinore. He is slightly depressed, or at least unhappy about having to work cold nights.
Reynaldo Polonius’s servant, who is sent to France by Polonius to check up on and spy on Laertes.
The First Clown/Gravedigger. He is convinced that Ophelia ought to be considered a suicide. Dig’s Ophelia’s grave
The Second Clown/ other Gravedigger the first gravedigger’s straight man.
Fortinbras The Prince of Norway, whose father the king was killed by Hamlet’s father
The First Ambassador Arrives at Elsinore with the news of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s execution just after everyone dies.
Gertrude the widow of Old Hamlet and the present wife of Claudius, Hamlet’s mother, and the Queen
Ophelia Polonius’s daughter. In love with Hamlet, she is obedient to her father and listens to her brother, though she is spirited enough to accuse him of potential hypocrisy.
The Ghost The specter of Hamlet’s recently deceased father.claims to have been murdered by Claudius, calls upon Hamlet to avenge him.
Guildenstern former friend of Hamlet from Wittenberg, is summoned by Claudius and Gertrude to discover the cause of Hamlet’s strange behavior. Inseparable from Rosencrantz.

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